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Great chap Tag Head. Straight down the centre line. If you messed up in his eyes, you got it in the neck otherwise all was fine and dandy. Spent happy days with him on the old Langton Grange. He used to come out and relieve me to get warmed up when tallying chilled lamb inboard day after bl***y day down in Tierra del Fuego. Class act that man and anyone who fell foul him most certainly deserved to.
 

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Harwicke

I had the pleasure ( and it was a pleasure ) to sail on the Hardwike twice once as a cadet in 73 and later as a J/E in 75 Z berth was always a home from our trips to the Royston when we were studying up the road in Poplar, and again when I served on board the Hardwicke, our times in BA were legend and whos still got a Butterfly tray from Santos or a Coat from Casa Marios in Monte. John Purvis I recall as 2/E to the C/E Bomber Harris, Johns somewhat excentric personallity extend to his Al Cantor impressions at the drop of a head, another infamous engineer at the time was the "Grey Bager"
She was a lady and I thought this was the life till I was rudely awaken by haveing to actually work and not just leaveing it to the relief crew. Who can name the Bars on 25 de Mayo?
Your post brought back some amazing memories for me,i did 3 trips on the Hardwicke in 69 and 70 as an apprentice...the butterfly tray got broken years ago as did the tarantula ...i still feel guilty about the rubber cheque for £10 at casa mario...but what a great coat....cant remember the bars on 25 de mayo but do remember walking down there and being robbed of money and **** at gunpoint by a policeman....Happy days
 

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Your post brought back some amazing memories for me,i did 3 trips on the Hardwicke in 69 and 70 as an apprentice...the butterfly tray got broken years ago as did the tarantula ...i still feel guilty about the rubber cheque for £10 at casa mario...but what a great coat....cant remember the bars on 25 de mayo but do remember walking down there and being robbed of money and **** at gunpoint by a policeman....Happy days
Your post brought back some amazing memories for me,i did 3 trips on the Hardwicke in 69 and 70 as an apprentice...the butterfly tray got broken years ago as did the tarantula ...i still feel guilty about the rubber cheque for £10 at casa mario...but what a great coat....cant remember the bars on 25 de mayo but do remember walking down there and being robbed of money and **** at gunpoint by a policeman....Happy days
I was on the Hardwicke Eng Cadet 75/76, it was the marineros who parted me from my watch, money and **** just outside the pink palace.
I was also an official member of the John Purvis backing group.
"What you're going to tell um down on the farm"
6 of us supporting him in Papa Fritas, great steaks and ribs.
My brother still has the tarantula I brought back for him.
 

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We used to run to B.A. on the Faraday and Cavendish, at night we stayed in the bars on Dock Sud cos as Welsh Dragon said we would be robbed by the marineros when we came back in the taxi over the bridge.

Always hoped it was not a beefless week when we got there.
 

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Ah - Dock Sud - that brings back memories from my time on the HUMBOLDT/GYFR in 1968.

Never was robbed, but always kept most of my money in my socks under my instep.

Stuart Third was one of the deck cadets - he lost his life in the River Plate disaster.
 

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I was 2nd Mate when she was a cadet training ship for SSA but the crew were all Houlders as were some of the cadets. TAG Head was the old man, very interesting times with 17 cadets.
Hello young Derek !! I was 3/0 on HardwickeGrange around that time...but I remember Capt. Leach and ChMate Kitteringham on the voyage to NZ ?! How are you?
 

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Your post brought back some amazing memories for me,i did 3 trips on the Hardwicke in 69 and 70 as an apprentice...the butterfly tray got broken years ago as did the tarantula ...i still feel guilty about the rubber cheque for £10 at casa mario...but what a great coat....cant remember the bars on 25 de mayo but do remember walking down there and being robbed of money and **** at gunpoint by a policeman....Happy days
I was not only robbed but thrown into jail in a cell with about 30 other human disasters. I spent two days in there until the Agent and Capt., came looking for me. If I recall it cost them about £300 to get me out. Considering I was only strolling up the street, stone cold sober heading for the Copper Kettle to wind up my tiring day (hanging aloft with a tin of white paint) with a beefy completo and a bottle of beer, I was not at all impressed. Navy ran the country at that time and every evening they had a quota to fill - I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and British! Captain Eric Lougheed presented himself at the jail in full uniform and was not a happy chappie.
 

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Hello young Derek !! I was 3/0 on HardwickeGrange around that time...but I remember Capt. Leach and ChMate Kitteringham on the voyage to NZ ?! How are you?
Hi must be George. The trip I did TAG was old man and Ray Harrison was the Mate. Thanks for the young Derek I'm 70 next month:ROFLMAO:. Rex Leach was old man the next trip when she was sold in Iran, very sad!
 

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Yes, it is George. Many happy returns! I'm over 72 and happy in retirement. Hope you are well, too. In 1991 I left the sea and open up a survey & consultancy firm in USA [Philadelphia] By 2017 I sold the company and retire in South Delaware, near Cape Henlopen. Last time we talk you were working with a seismic survey ship??!
 

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Hello young Derek !! I was 3/0 on HardwickeGrange around that time...but I remember Capt. Leach and ChMate Kitteringham on the voyage to NZ ?! How are you?
Hello, I noticed you mentioned Capt Leach and I'm wondering if you can answer a question that has bugged me since the tragedy of the Royston Grange. One of her passengers was a Rosa Leach and I have always wondered if she may have been Rex's wife. I was an EDH on the Orepton (65) and the Orelia (68) when he was skipper and on one occasion his wife visited the ship. I understood she was from Argentina.
I did seven straight trips on the Hardwicke between July 63 and Nov 64, the first as EDH and after that as QM. Capt Faulkner was there throughout that time.
I sailed with the company for six and a half years. No contract, just a 'gentlemens' understanding'. A good company to work for.
 

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Hello Young David,
I'm not sure about Rosa Leach...so the question will hunt you further-more. But I can tell you for sure, because I was there, Capt Leach & Wife joined Hardwicke Grange in UK at end of June 1976 and we sailed for New Zealand under SSAlbion colours. I also remember that Mrs. Leach was an English teacher, and since my English was not my 1st language, she started to polish my rough edges, which were plenty. On our way back from NZ we nearly lost our good Captain due to internal bleeding [stomach ulcers]. We safely landed Capt Leach and Wife in Galapagos Is. and he was transferred to a USA medical plane. Ch. Mate Kitteringham took command and resumed our SlowSpeed voyage back to UK [Sheerness] . The SlowSpeed was dictated by the drastic jump in oil prices at that time, which hit badly the steam ships, like Hardwicke Grange. I did see again the good Capt. Leach when he joined Hardwicke Grange at Avonmouth; was about end of April 1977. I left the vessel to get my 2M ticket.
Recently I found a Houlder Bros. Fleet Movement list [in my limited MNavy archives] dated Feb 1979 which places Capt R.B. Leach on Banbury at Paranagua ; what a fine place that was.
I joined Houlder in spring of 1973 and left by summer of 1982.
I do hope that my recollection of Capt Leach is of some use to you,
Take care and look after yourself,
 

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I was on the Hardwicke Eng Cadet 75/76, it was the marineros who parted me from my watch, money and **** just outside the pink palace.
I was also an official member of the John Purvis backing group.
"What you're going to tell um down on the farm"
6 of us supporting him in Papa Fritas, great steaks and ribs.
My brother still has the tarantula I brought back for him.
I was on the Hardwicke Eng Cadet 75/76, it was the marineros who parted me from my watch, money and **** just outside the pink palace.
I was also an official member of the John Purvis backing group.
"What you're going to tell um down on the farm"
6 of us supporting him in Papa Fritas, great steaks and ribs.
My brother still has the tarantula I brought back for him.
Hello Welsh Dragon,
Did you do a voyage on Hardwicke Grange when we loaded in UK 2 race horses on poop deck, to be dispatched to Brazil?
 

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Just to let you know that my father was the Master of this ship until it was sold to the Iberians, that was a very sad day. My father has just passed on but I know that he would have been a very proud man to have read your reply, thank you. He was renouned for being a hard taskmaster yet was very well respected by his crew, passengers and his shipping company.
I too travelled on the Harwicke many times sleeping in the pilots cabin!! poor pilot.
Thanks again
Chris Head
Hello Chris,

You may remember me; I was 3Mate on Hardwicke Grange from 1975 to 1977. I did a few voyages with your Father in command. Also have met your Mother during that time.
Around mid 90's I was in UK for business and paid a visit to your Dad in Sumerset. D. Kitteringham did call me and convey the sad news. Sorry for your loss.
Hope you are well and keep the nasty virus at safe distance. Look after yourself, George
 

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Hello Young David,
I'm not sure about Rosa Leach...so the question will hunt you further-more. But I can tell you for sure, because I was there, Capt Leach & Wife joined Hardwicke Grange in UK at end of June 1976 and we sailed for New Zealand under SSAlbion colours. I also remember that Mrs. Leach was an English teacher, and since my English was not my 1st language, she started to polish my rough edges, which were plenty. On our way back from NZ we nearly lost our good Captain due to internal bleeding [stomach ulcers]. We safely landed Capt Leach and Wife in Galapagos Is. and he was transferred to a USA medical plane. Ch. Mate Kitteringham took command and resumed our SlowSpeed voyage back to UK [Sheerness] . The SlowSpeed was dictated by the drastic jump in oil prices at that time, which hit badly the steam ships, like Hardwicke Grange. I did see again the good Capt. Leach when he joined Hardwicke Grange at Avonmouth; was about end of April 1977. I left the vessel to get my 2M ticket.
Recently I found a Houlder Bros. Fleet Movement list [in my limited MNavy archives] dated Feb 1979 which places Capt R.B. Leach on Banbury at Paranagua ; what a fine place that was.
I joined Houlder in spring of 1973 and left by summer of 1982.
I do hope that my recollection of Capt Leach is of some use to you,
Take care and look after yourself,
Hello, again
Thank you for getting back to me. Your contact with Mrs Leach was four years after the loss of the Royston Grange, so obviously not the same person. As you say, I will probably never know. This 'young David' is now pushing 77 and when Capt Leach was my skipper, I was about 23/24 and he would have been about 40. So, in his 90s now if he's still with us. That was a close shave with his stomach problem in '76. Did the ship carry a doctor then? We always did on the 'meat boats', a regulation with 12 or more passengers. They used to change around and I remember one we had was a really old boy, past normal retirement age, a bit doddery, who used to sit out in the sun in a deck chair doing embroidery. He would get very annoyed if he heard anyone who thought they were out of earshot refer to him casually as 'the quack'.
The opportunities we enjoyed were character-building, interesting and fun and it saddens me that they are no longer there for today's young people.
With all best regards David Svensen
 

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Hello, again
Thank you for getting back to me. Your contact with Mrs Leach was four years after the loss of the Royston Grange, so obviously not the same person. As you say, I will probably never know. This 'young David' is now pushing 77 and when Capt Leach was my skipper, I was about 23/24 and he would have been about 40. So, in his 90s now if he's still with us. That was a close shave with his stomach problem in '76. Did the ship carry a doctor then? We always did on the 'meat boats', a regulation with 12 or more passengers. They used to change around and I remember one we had was a really old boy, past normal retirement age, a bit doddery, who used to sit out in the sun in a deck chair doing embroidery. He would get very annoyed if he heard anyone who thought they were out of earshot refer to him casually as 'the quack'.
The opportunities we enjoyed were character-building, interesting and fun and it saddens me that they are no longer there for today's young people.
With all best regards David Svensen
Hello David,
So nice to hear from you. No, we did not carry a doctor on that voyage to NZ because we did not have any passengers. All passenger cabins were taken by cadets...all told we had 17 cadets on board and a trainee officer from SSAlbion Line [ chap called Milles Edam-Smith {Extra Master}]. At that moment, when Capt. Leach became ill, we certainly wish for a doctor. And you are correct on trips to S.America we have had an Old&Retired Doctor. I recall a chap which was close to 80 years old and was attempting to learn Greek!!? He found out that I was originally from the Balkans and asked if I could help....like small talk/conversation in Greek language. Well, he was very disappointed when I replied that I can only do a good Zorba dance. Cheers
 
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